Local Maternity System

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Labour and birth

Home Birth

Your midwife will discuss your choices for the place of birth with you at your antenatal appointments. Women labour more effectively in an environment where they feel relaxed and comfortable. For some women, the most comfortable and relaxing place will be in their own home. If you choose to have your baby at home, a community midwife will come and care for you during your labour. Your midwife will listen to your baby’s heart beat regularly, as well as monitoring your well-being. A second midwife will also attend for the birth. Your midwife will stay with you for at least two hours after you have given birth.

Planning for a Home Birth

  • If you have a straight forward pregnancy, and you and your baby are healthy you may choose to give birth at home.

  • If you have a more complicated pregnancy you can still have a home birth, however your midwife will arrange for you to have an appointment with your consultant to discuss a home birth.

  • A community midwife will arrange to visit you at home at some point in your pregnancy to discuss your home birth with you and your birth partner, complete the home birth form and arrange for you to collect a home birth box.

  • You can give birth at home from 37 weeks of pregnancy.

  • You will be supported by two community midwives during your home birth.

  • Community midwives can provide entonox (gas and air) for you to use during your labour if required.

  • If you would like to use a birthing pool you can arrange to hire and set this up yourself. If you choose to hire your own birth pool, our midwives are experienced at caring for women planning a water birth. Ensure you have read the instructions and have the means to fill it up prior to the birth. You may need a new, clean hose to fill and empty it.

  • You may also wish to consider the use of acupuncture, aromatherapy, hypnotherapy or a TENS machine; however you would need to arrange these yourself. You can use gas and air (Entonox) at home for pain relief and the midwives will bring this with them.

You need to provide very little for a home birth as almost all equipment is brought by the midwives apart from towels etc. Your midwife will visit you at home towards the end of your pregnancy to discuss plans for your home birth in detail. However, the following list may be useful:

Have you informed the midwives of any parking arrangements for your home?

Once in labour contact the hospital providing your care, who will arrange for the midwife to contact you.

2019-07-03 (7)

Your baby is now officially an embryo and is about the size of a poppy seed.

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/4-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (4)

Your baby is now the size of a kidney bean and weighs 1g. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/8-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (6)

Welcome to the second trimester!

Your baby is about the size of a small lime and weighs approximately 14g.

You have hopefully seen your midwife for your 'booking in' appointment, if you have not yet seen a midwife please make an appointment quickly, so you can have all of your choices about screening tests explained and offered to you.

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/12-weeks-pregnant/ for more information. You can also link to the 'Pregnancy Journey' area here.  


Your baby is about the size of an avocado and weighs approximately 100g. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/16-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (2)

Your baby has grown in length and is now the length of a small banana and weighs approximately 300g. Around this time you will be offered your '20 week' scan, also known as the 'anatomy' or 'anomaly' scan.Click here for more information about screening. 

This is a also a good time to talk and sing to your bump as your baby can now hear sounds. This is great way for you and your partner/family to bond with your baby.

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/20-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

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Your baby has grown again to the approximate length of an ear of sweetcorn and weighs about 600g. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/24-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (1)

Welcome to the third trimester!

Your baby is now approximately the weight of an aubergine; about 1kg and approximately 37cm in length. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/28-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (3)

Your baby now weighs approximately the same as a coconut; around 1.5kg. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/32-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (5)

Your baby is now around the same size as a lettuce, approximately 47cm long and weighs around 2.6kg. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/36-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (9)

Your baby is now the weight of a small watermelon which is approximately 3.3kg and around 50cm in length. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/40-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.